Diplomat hurt by sonic weapon?
WASHINGTON — At least one Canadian diplomat in Cuba has been treated for hearing loss, the federal government said Thursday, amid reports of similar symptoms among U.S. diplomats in Havana — caused, officials believe, by some sort of advanced sonic device.
Canadian officials “are aware of unusual symptoms affecting Canadian and US diplomatic personnel and their families in Havana,” Global Affairs spokesperson Brianne Maxwell said in a statement.
“The government is actively working — including with U.S. and Cuban authorities — to ascertain the cause.”
Officials don’t have any reason to believe Canadian tourists or other visitors could be affected, Maxwell added.
Canada helped broker talks between Cuba and the United States that led to restored diplomatic relations.
In the fall of 2016, a series of U.S. diplomats began suffering unexplained losses of hearing, according to officials with knowledge of the investigation into the case. Several of the diplomats were recent arrivals at the embassy, which reopened in 2015 as part of President Barack Obama’s re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Some of the U.S. diplomats’ symptoms were so severe that they were forced to cancel their tours early., officials said. They concluded that the diplomats had been attacked with an advanced sonic weapon that operated outside the range of audible sound, deployed either inside or outside residences.